Microsoft Deploys ActiveStore Architecture

NEW ORLEANS, June 16, 1998 — The retail and food service industries today took a sizable technological step toward realizing optimized business processes and reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of in-store information systems. Microsoft Corp. today announced at Retail Systems ’98 that Tricon Global Restaurants Inc. will become the first customer to implement the Microsoft® ActiveStore
retail technology architecture in its stores worldwide.

Tricon, which initially contributed input with respect to the specifications for ActiveStore, has taken a proactive leadership role in the past 18 months to help drive the progress of the industry adoption of ActiveStore technology. Tricon will globally deploy ActiveStore-compliant solutions based on the Microsoft BackOffice® family in its Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Pizza Hut and Taco Bell stores over the next three years; the company also plans to offer the technology to its franchisees. There are 30,000 Tricon restaurants worldwide, serving 25 million customers in 95 countries each day.

“In an industry such as food service where speed and efficiency are becoming more and more critical, the integration of information is essential to business success,”
said Bob Lowes, chief financial officer/chief information officer of Tricon.
“Tricon, Microsoft and other industry leaders are striving to create a complete framework that optimizes retail technology solutions while lowering total cost of ownership. Compatible, integrated information that extends throughout our businesses will enable us to drive efficiency throughout our stores, make better business decisions and inevitably provide better service to our customers.”

Supported by more than 500 leading retail companies, the ActiveStore initiative addresses the risks retailers face in deploying store-level applications by driving down costs, expanding options and easing the process of systems integration. The ActiveStore architecture provides the basic functions retailers need in a store environment, such as immediate crash recovery, centralized security and a common set of interapplication messages for major events. Previously, such functionality was provided by independent software vendors (ISVs), often resulting in intervendor integration barriers because many software developers have slightly different approaches to solving these common technology issues. The goal is to enable a true plug-and-play environment so retailers can select best-of-breed components from any source, without the cost, risk or limitations of reliance on a single supplier.

“Tricon is a leader and technological innovator in the food service industry,”
said Steve Ballmer, executive vice president of sales and support at Microsoft.
“Its participation in the development and implementation of ActiveStore enables the entire industry to use Tricon’s industry expertise and take advantage of cutting-edge technology for every facet of a food service vendor’s business. This is an incredible opportunity for Microsoft, Tricon and, more importantly, the entire food service and retail industry.”

Microsoft-Based Solutions Used by Tricon

Utilizing the Microsoft Windows NT® Server 5.0 operating system, Microsoft SQL Server
7.0, the BackOffice family of products and the ActiveStore architecture, Tricon’s next generation of technology will link thin-client point-of-sale (POS) and customer access devices within the store as well as across multiple restaurants. These technologies handle transaction processing; have credit, debit and smart-card capabilities; and contain an easy-to-use standard graphical interface. The integrated retail systems, which must conduct more than 9 billion transactions per year, will allow Tricon to serve its customers more quickly and efficiently.

“The strategic application and integration of emerging technology will provide the next breakthrough in quick service business performance,”
said Dan Roddy, vice president, technology, Tricon.
“The goal of the alliance between Tricon and Microsoft is to provide a standards-based technology platform that enables Tricon, as well as other retailers and food service companies, to drive operational excellence, improve value-chain efficiency and facilitate consumer empowerment. We intend to significantly improve our customers’ experience through the implementation of this new system.”

“By using Microsoft’s technologies and the ActiveStore architecture, Tricon has created a robust, component-based retail environment with reduced development time and integration costs,”
said Parsa Rohani, Microsoft Consulting Services and lead architect for the project.

Tricon Inc. is the largest owner and operator of restaurants in the world with more than 29,500 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell outlets. Each of these concepts are the largest in their respective categories of chicken, pizza and Mexican food. Tricon restaurants generated more than $20 billion in worldwide sales in 1997.

ActiveStore is part of a broader initiative by Microsoft to define an end-to-end framework for product-related industries, from raw materials suppliers to consumer products companies. Another component of the product industries framework includes the Microsoft Value Chain Initiative (VCI) for business-to-business electronic commerce and supply-chain integration. Combined, these two initiatives include nearly 650 ISVs working toward a common architecture.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, ActiveStore, BackOffice and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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